How to manage an intellectual property claim on Amazon

How to manage an intellectual property claim on Amazon


In the past we have had many intellectual property claims from Amazon. They always put your account at risk. You have to act quickly when it arises.

Possibly one of the things that has lost us the most time has been the responses to intellectual property claims on Amazon. I don’t like the word too much but in this case it is appropriate. We are experts in managing these types of incidents.

What has happened when you receive an intellectual property claim on Amazon?

Registering a brand on Amazon has its advantages. Among others, you can protect its use at the level of images and text that third parties may use. You have exclusive rights when it is your brand.

If you are on the other side being a seller who wants to sell third party brands this can be a problem. Sometimes even serious. Especially when you create your own listings that contain images or mentions of existing brands. The more well-known and larger the brand, the more incidents of trademark complaints you will have.

When this happens to you, Amazon has blocked one of your listings because someone has claimed that you are using their intellectual property without their permission.

How to resolve intellectual property claims?

Sometimes these may also be related to patents but we have not yet received any of these.

Let’s look at the possible solutions.

  1. One of the most elegant but possibly for many sellers the least feasible is to ask the brand for permission later. We have already achieved this in some cases but it is very difficult to achieve and even more so if you have not previously had any contact. We did have it, that’s why we could choose this route.
  2. Then there is that option where you eliminate all words and/or images that refer to the protected trademark. This can also be a complicated process because it is not immediate.
  3. Many times all that remains is this. Abandon the listing and start again from scratch. It is painful because you leave behind a listing with good sales but there is a point where continuing conversations with Amazon support no longer makes sense because you will not be able to solve the matter.

How to avoid intellectual property claims before they arise?

Being proactive is the best of all options. Not allowing them to arise is the best defense strategy. This is learned with experience of having lived many cases. You develop a good intuition of what is allowed and what is already in the gray area. To be honest, we continually move in a gray area where maybe yes or maybe we are not going to have a listing block. The alternative, being very defensive in the end makes you lose a lot in conversion. Many times it is worth having the problems because of the sales you can generate until then. I do not recommend it if you do not have the experience that we have because every time intellectual property claims arise you put your entire account at risk. At a given moment Amazon can even block your account completely.

Small “hacks” are if you put “compatible with…” in the listing title followed by the brand name. It is the only way allowed by Amazon to use third-party intellectual property. At the image level, the probability increases the more present you have third-party logos or references to their brand in highly visible parts (e.g. the first photo of the listing). It is smarter to make use of images that can be interpreted as intellectual property of third parties on Amazon in the background: small, blurry, in the back images or better still not need to use them.

In short: don’t get into these messes if you can help it. If you are already in, I can help you solve it if you do not dare to do it without help after reading these recommendations.

Stay tuned.



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